High arched feet, also known as cavus feet, is a disorder characterized by an abnormally high arch in the foot (as the name implies). This causes excess amounts of weight to be placed on the ball and heel of the foot, which can cause pain. Cavus foot can develop at any age, though it’s most commonly inherited at birth. A high arched foot is unable to deal with impact forces placed on the foot and ankle.
Cavus foot will cause pain when walking, especially over long periods. Severe cases of cavus foot will cause discomfort and pain while standing, often centered in the heel. Cavus foot can lead to calluses on the ball, heel, and toes, as while as deformity of the toes. Hammertoes (toes that appear bent) and claw toes (toes clenched like a fist) are common symptoms of cavus foot. Ankle sprains are more common in a cavus foot type, as the disorder can lead to imbalance and instability because of forward tilt. In rare cases, cavus foot leads to foot drop or weakness in the muscles of the feet that lead to dragging while walking. Foot drop is almost always a sign of a neurological condition.
Don’t worry too much, as cavus foot can be dealt with, but the earlier you seek consultation, the better. To diagnose cavus foot, your podiatrist will look into your family history before anything else, as it is so commonly genetic. Afterwards, the doctor will test your foot for strength, signs of weakness, toe deformity, and other symptoms. An x-ray may be ordered, to check for further damage that isn’t easily visible. Finally, the doctor will check for signs of neurological disorder. If one is found, they may examine the entire limb.
Cavus foot is most often treated with the use of orthotic devices. Orthotic devices may be placed in your shoes, which will help to spread weight over the whole foot. Specific shoes are designed for people with a high arched foot type, as they often have increased ankle stability along with maximal cushioning to reduce stress on the foot structures.
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You can reach us at (08) 9271 8805 and one of our friendly team members will be happy to answer your questions.